But hate sells

Capper at the Wisconsin blog Whallah! wrote a post about an observation made by Owen Robinson of Boots & Sabers about the degenerating tone in the Wisconsin blogosphere.

Owen’s original post reads, generic viagra generic in part:

“But in the toddler age of the Wisconsin blogosphere, discount viagra there was a crucial element: respect. There was respect for the fact that the other guy sitting behind his keyboard was a normal guy like me. He or she had a job, a family, likes, dislikes, prejudices, a lawn to mow, etc. He or she had good days, bad days, great days, was grumpy, happy, sad, etc. He or she was a person – with all of the texture that means. So when we engaged each other, we did it from the standpoint that we were a couple of ordinary guys talking about stuff.

Even as recently as 2006, this held true. I had a lengthy and respectful debate with a lovely young lady from FAIR Wisconsin regarding the gay marriage amendment. We debated the issue and went our separate ways. We never came to agreement, but we had the debate respectfully.

I don’t see this happening in the Wisconsin blogosphere anymore. It has evolved, or devolved, into the crass identity politics which everyone laments. It’s rarely about debating the issues. It’s about tearing each other down. It’s sad and pathetic. And, with all due respect, it ticks me off.”

Of course, I agree with this.

My long-time readers will know that I encourage commenters to write whatever they want about a topic, but try to be respectful of each other as human beings.

And I try to do the same in my own posts.

But I want to point out that I believe such civility hurts my overall audience growth.

I have a respectably-sized readership, but I KNOW I could build a bigger one by throwing more bombs at one side or the other of the political fence.

Snark sells.

People love attack dogs.

In a lot of ways, “moderation” is another word for “boring.”

But, in the end, I’ve made the choice that civility is more important to me than celebrity.

If obscurity is the price I pay for treating people with respect, I’ll just have to go on being less significant and more civil.

6 comments April 7th, 2008


Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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